Monday Mornings with Madison

Turning to Telecommuting, Part 2

Word Count: 1,461
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Working side-by-side with others spurs creativity, generates motivation, increases teamwork and even sparks competition.  However, with “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” spreading across the U.S., companies are asking employees to work from home for the duration.  This shift can be challenging.   Although many employees already work from home one or two days a week or a few hours in the evening, it is not the same as working from home 100% of the time.  The benefits of working in close proximity to others are lost.  For example, gone is the chatter that ensues in a hallway or by the water cooler.  The collaboration that happens more casually than intentionally because of proximity disappears.  And, brainstorming that occurs on the fly in the parking lot or lunch room vanishes.  So how do companies recreate that in the digital world if every employee is forced to telecommute? Continue reading

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Telecommuting and Remote Work, Part 1

Word Count: 1,220
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

The Rise of Telecommuting / Remote Work

Working from home regularly — referred to as telecommuting for those who live near their employer and remote work for those who live far away and cannot go to their workplace on a daily basis – has been on the rise for years.  In fact, it increased 173% in the last 15 years.  That is because more U.S. employers began offering a flexible workplace option.  One reason is the availability of sophisticated, affordable online tools that make remote work more seamless.  Today, larger companies are more likely to offer telecommuting options to their employees, and employers in densely populated areas — such as the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions — are more likely to allow telecommuting.

However, the latest available statistics on the work-at-home/telework population in the U.S. — based on an analysis of 2005-2018 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau) conducted by Global Workplace Analytics and released in August 2019 — shows that just five million employees work from home half-time or more.  That is only about 3.8 % of the 130,000,000 million people in the U.S. workforce, not including those who are self-employed.  This is true even though 50% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and 80%-90% of all U.S. employees say they’d like to telework at least part-time.  And this is the case even though 43% of the workforce already works remotely some amount of time with some frequency, according to a Gallup poll. Continue reading

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Harnessing the Elusive Power of Momentum

Word Count: 1,802
Estimated Read Time: 7 min.

Just What is Momentum?

Achieving momentum is one thing.  Keeping the momentum going is another.  And leveraging momentum to its full advantage… well that’s a whole other matter.  English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author Sir Isaac Newton – arguably one of the greatest scientists of all time — said that “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”  He dubbed this the First Law of Motion.  Simply put, things do not start, stop, or change direction all by themselves. It takes some force acting on them from the outside to cause such a change.  Continue reading

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Growing a Company in Today’s Market: Three Lessons from the Business World

Word Count: 1,637
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Ron Malhotra, a Contributing Writer for Thrive Global and The Huffington Post, opined a while back that there are really only three ways for a company to stand out in business today.   Be first.  Be different. Or be best.  Being one or all of these things doesn’t guarantee success, but it does offer a potentially smoother path toward it. Continue reading

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Social Media Etiquette for Professionals

Word Count: 1,511
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

It is estimated that by next year, about 3 billion people globally will be using social media sites; joining, reading, scrolling, commenting, sharing, and posting on one or more sites regularly.  While there are still some social media holdouts – these are people who refuse to be on social media because they say they don’t want to know what their friends are eating but were also the ones who refused to get a cell phone until 2002 – that audience is growing smaller every day.  Which sites are most popular varies by country, age group, functionality, and purpose.  In the U.S., there are multitude of popular social media sites.  LinkedIn.  Facebook.  Pinterest.  TicTok.  Twitter.  Instagram.  Snapchat.  Tumblr.  WhatsApp.  Reddit.  YouTube.  Messenger.  Nextdoor.  Quora.  Twitch.  Flickr.  Yelp.   The list goes on and on. Continue reading

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How Well Do You Know Your Brand?

Word Count: 1,346
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

How well do you know your company’s brand?  Try this quick quiz to find out how you score.  Be honest with yourself when you answer these questions.  No one else needs to know the truth, but you should. Continue reading

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Servant Leadership, Part 2

Word Count: 1,647
Estimated Read Time: 6 ½ min.

Manager vs. Leader vs. Servant Leader

Most organizations have managers who oversee what is being done, and ensure it is being done in the best possible way through and with others.  It is a position that exists in all fields, from business and education to medicine, hospitality, and sports.  There are managers in the for-profit sector as well as the non-profit, not-for-profit and government sectors.  They manage people or work or both.  Managers implement.  They help themselves and others to become high performers, putting processes in place that support accomplishing goals and ensuring that tasks are accomplished well.  Managers set goals, plan work, define roles, organize resources, measure progress, develop supportive relationships, and direct progress.  They focus on short-term results, seek stability, and are reactive.  They usually have power because of position, not persuasion.  In short, managers are useful and ubiquitous. Continue reading

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Servant Leadership, Part 1

Word Count: 1,310
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a tragic helicopter accident at the age of 41.  Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Bryant had retired from the National Basketball Association (NBA) after playing for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years.  With them, he won five NBA championships.  He also won two Olympic medals.  In addition to his keen ability to leap and dunk, his skillset included a “turnaround, fadeaway jumpshot” that left defenders helpless and footwork that made him one of the NBA’s most  gifted scorers in the league.  On the last game he played before retiring in 2016, he scored 60 points in a single game.  That might be impressive were it not for the fact that he had scored 83 points in another game — the second highest number of points ever scored by a player in a single game — and is currently the fourth highest cumulative scorer in NBA history.   He was also an 18-time All-Star (out of the 20 seasons he played), 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008.   That is quite a legacy. Continue reading

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Underestimating an Opponent is Risky Business

Word Count: 1,611
Estimated Read Time: 6 1/2 min.

The Cost of Ignoring an Underdog

A very strange thing happened on December 29, 2019 at a football game between the New England Patriots, the 2018 Super Bowl defending champion, and the long-time lackluster Miami Dolphins.   In fact, it was considered by most sports experts and game aficionados (which does not include the writer of this post) as one of the strangest things to happen in football in the entire 2010—2020 decade.  And, with just two days left in the decade, this was saying a lot.  What happened?  The Dolphins won.  While it might seem that in any game there is a 50/50 chance of one team beating the other, this was not the case heading into this particular matchup.   The Dolphins entered the game as 16.5 underdogs.  Why? Continue reading

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When Small and Midsized Businesses Update Websites in 2020 – Part 3

Word Count: 1,493
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Part 3:   Understanding the Process

The custom design and development of a website is a challenging and complex process.  For those tackling that undertaking, it helps to understand some of the basics of the process. Continue reading

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